Microsoft's ASP.NET team has been busy working on several new features for version 2. Tasks that used to require numerous lines of code now take only one or two lines in some cases. New features include:
- New data provider controls that simplify connecting to relational, XML, and business object data sources.
- New membership security server controls that make logging users in and out of a Web site as easy as dragging and dropping a few controls onto the design surface.
- Support for "master pages" that allow you to apply a generic template across an entire Web site to create a consistent look and feel.
- Built-in support for personalization, including a complete database that operates behind the scenes.
- Support for control skins you can change programmatically based on user preferences.
- Posting across different pages (cross-posting) and the ability to reference server controls from other pages.
- "Out of band" calls to the server to fill controls with data without doing complete page posts.
- New validation control support, including control grouping, which makes validating portions of pages easier.
- A consolidated server control model that supports both Web and mobile devices.
- Several new server controls that support creating grids, wizards, image maps, images, treeviews, site maps, and more.
- Generics in C# and VB.NET, enabling you to create code templates and change them easily, which promotes better code reuse across one or more Web sites.